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In a year like no other, we do have some success stories to share with you from 2020

It has been a difficult year, to say the least. Not just for us here at Cresco and for our clients, but for everyone – our colleagues, friends and families. Hopefully there is some light at the end of what has seemed a very long tunnel.

Now, as 2020 draws to a close and we take time to reflect during the festive period, we can look back at how we’ve met the constant challenges that have been thrown our way, how we’ve adapted to new ways of working, and how we’ll strive to continue meeting our own objectives, and those of our clients, as we head into 2021.

For Cresco, as a business, there have been several occasions that we can look back on with pride, where we have enjoyed some measurable success for our clients. These include the following competition wins:

  • The development of a next-generation platform for manufacturing cell and gene therapies (CGT) at commercial scale. This project focuses on the development of technology that will allow therapies to be made with the maximum efficiency, the highest quality and the fastest throughput. The vision of this project is to enable access to these lifesaving therapies for patients suffering from aggressive forms of cancer and other serious conditions
  • The development and patent of a world-first ‘in-vitro’ production system to produce BeadaGel™ for propagating and seeding sphagnum at scale for commercial scale farming to harvest and process as a peat alternative growing media product – BeadaGro™. The aim of this collaborative project with farmers and commercial growing nurseries is to develop and demonstrate all aspects of commercial viability for sphagnum farming
  • A project that aims to facilitate the decarbonising of the road haulage sector with the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell ‘HV-Trucks’ to uphold the environmental benefits observed from the COVID-19 lockdown
  • Through our successful Innovate UK Smart project, we have completed the development of a production demonstrator of an industry-leading robotic kitchen. The aim of this project is to redesign and upgrade firmware and software to create a game-changing, intelligent, robotic apparatus, including hands, capable of automatically adjusting to changes in the environment/parameters in real-time. This will have wider application in food processing/packaging and pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology (including cell cultivation) laboratory environments
  • A NIHR i4i Product Development Award focusing on developing a point-of-care device to detect bleeds on the brain
  • A project to provide an at-hand, personalised set of behavioural-change and stress-reduction tools to support self-treatment for IBS sufferers. A treatment mobile app, Zemedy, has been invented by Bold Health, which will guide users in their treatment such that it can be delivered fully digitally, conveniently at both scale and cost. The main aim of this project is to gain real-world clinical evidence, user-feedback and understanding how Zemedy could be prescribed and accessed within the NHS setting. Crucially, the output of the project will provide the stepping-stones required to undertake the necessary clinical trial of Zemedy to enable evidence to be created enabling adoption of Zemedy across the NHS
  • An in-ear earphone technology with in-built access to high-quality streamed content, even when not in range with a paired device. This capability will be enabled via technological advances, and licenced-enabled access to content and user-define playlists. The product will be the first to market with offline streaming capabilities contained within discrete and fully wireless earbuds, and alongside Active Noise Cancelling

There are a couple of other Bio Medical Catalyst bids, which we are awaiting interviews, that we’d like to share with you, too:

  • A platform that enables chemotherapy to be administered into various body cavities to treat ovarian cancer
  • A project that offers the potential to slow, prevent or even reverse the progression of multiple sclerosis

There are also plenty of other Innovate UK competitions currently available – some are due to due to open soon, while the deadline for others is fast approaching. To see these funding calls in greater detail, please see our dedicated competitions page on our website here.

While these are some of the successes we’ve been able to share with our clients this year, we’ve also enjoyed some great news within the company. Cresco has continued to expand and we have welcomed four new members of staff, including three new graduates and one new senior proposal writer. We have also formed a Health Team to focus on healthcare applications.

In addition, we have added a new Cresco company to the group, based in central Europe – more news to follow on this in the new year when we have our official launch.

We will continue to work hard during the Christmas holidays, too. There are a number of bids we are working on and we want to assure you that, should you have any queries or need to get in touch with us, one of the Cresco team will be available to answer your calls (other than on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – we do allow ourselves a little rest).

All that remains is, from all of us at Cresco, to wish you a safe and happy festive period, and we look forward to seeing you in 2021.